18 August 2009

Are you kidding me?!

You've all seen those emergency tires that many cars have: they're smaller than normal, they're typically only rated for a short distance (~50 miles) and slower speeds (~50 mph). The idea is that when you get a flat, you use the emergency tire to get to safe location--home, or wherever it is you intend to get your tire replaced. Either way, the point is that they're a very short term, short distance solution.

These tires stick out because they're narrow and smaller than ordinary tires. So while it isn't necessarily common to see them a lot, it's not surprising either.

I was on my way to work this morning and came up upon a car in the right lane whose rear left tire was one of these tires. Not surprising. He's going 60-65, which is perhaps a little fast, but whatever. Then as I'm passing him, I notice that his front left tire is also an emergency tire. Yes, this guy is driving down a highway at 65 mph with two emergency tires on his car. I only wish I had a picture to post, because this thing was screaming bad idea.

I guess its possible that both tires went out at once, but that seems unlikely given that most people only ever have one emergency tire with them at all. More likely, in my opinion, is that this guy had to replace these tires and either didn't want to, or couldn't afford to replace them with actual highway-rated tires.

With the economy the way it is, I can understand that money is tight, and people are penny-pinching. But your four tires are the only thing between you and the road. And when you lose control of your one or two ton hunk of steel because you're going too fast, or too far, or for too long, on two emergency tires, it's not just you that suffers.
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